Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Equine Fatalities (CEPEF)

It's time for CEPEF 4

CEPEF 4 is a new project run jointly between Vetsuisse Zurich and Bern.

Two decades ago the first series of confidential enquiries into perioperative equine fatalities (CEPEF-1 and 2) were initiated and identified a death rate of 0.9% in non-colic cases within seven days (Johnston 1991). Several risk factors were revealed that were significantly associated with the risk of equine general anaesthesia. CEPEF-3, a randomised control trial comparing halothane and the then newer agent isoflurane followed. In the last decade, equine anaesthesia practice has changed considerably e.g. to now include PIVA (Partial IntraVenous Anaesthesia). Whereas the introduction of new anaesthetic drugs in humans resulted in a reduction in anaesthesia related deaths, a similar development is not yet seen in horses. In order to assess the current situation in equine anaesthesia and to get evidence based data to guide clinical practice, a new phase of CEPEF is being set up.

Aims of the project

To assess perioperative fatalities and complications in horses:

  • Describe the actual situation/status quo
  • Identify Risk factors and their importance
  • Identify areas of potential areas of improvement